Always do a full backup with Fractal-Bot before loading any new firmware so you can restore later
Firmware 12.06 Public Beta (Beta 3) for the Axe-Fx III has been released. Click here to visit the forum download link. Below are the release notes with some explanations added.
Keep in mind that this is a Public Beta, and not a final release version. Generally Public Betas are solid to use, but might still contain issues or bugs, as it is a Beta. Also features may not be finalized at this time, but lets a broader amount of people test/try it out to get closer to the final release.
12.06 Public Beta contains additional FC functions/features we originally saw in 12.04, without the bugs that came with 12.04. As many have skipped 12.04 and 12.05 altogether, many changes actually originated in 12.04, thus those notes are included below as well.
Click here for the complete list of Release Notes for the Axe-Fx III.
12.06 Release Notes:
- Improved performance of noise gate in Input block. Both the Classic and Intelligent types have been improved. The new Noise Reducer type reduces noise while preserving the attack of the note. It does this by using intelligent filtering to remove line noise and high frequency hiss will leaving the rest of the spectrum intact. Be sure to set the Line Frequency to a value commensurate with the AC frequency in your country. Note that the Classic and Intelligent types can achieve complete silence while the Noise Reducer type can let some sound through as it is designed to be as transparent and unobtrusive as possible.
- Fixed zipper noise when using an FC pedal to control input volume.
- Fixed Delay Time not sticking for Ten Tap Delay.
- FC: Fix Tap Tempo function setting incorrect tempo when assigned to a stand-in switch.
- FC: Fix Tuner not exiting when tapping a Stand-In Switch whose Hold function is Tuner.
- FC: Fix UI of Stand-In Switches page not showing text representations of settings.
- FC: Fix View Inc/Dec when accessing MLM on an FC-6 via Master Layout “Switch-Combo”.
- FC: Fix View Inc/Dec mini-LCD display when set to “Destination #”.
Relevant notes from 12.05:
- Added modifier capability to ADSR Sustain Level.
Relevant notes from 12.04:
- Updated the default value of P.A. Cathode Bias Resistor for some models. Existing presets are NOT changed. The new default values are listed here if you want to apply them to your presets:
- AC-20 DLX: 61%
- Boutique 1,2: 48%
- Blankenship Leeds: 58%
- Car Roamer: 56%
- Class-A 15W TB: 56%
- Class-A 30W: 46%
- Citrus A30: 56%
- Citrus Terrier: 60%
- Deluxe Tweed: 49%
- Div/13 CJ: 56%
- Div/13 FT37: 56%
- FAS Class-A: 56%
- Gibtone Scout: 76%
- Hot Kitty: 50%
- Matchbox D30: 59%
- Nuclear Tone: 78%
- Wrecker Liverpool: 59%
In the Owner’s Manual and Block Guide, this is called “P.A. Cathode Resonance” and in the Axe-Fx III it is called “P.A Cathode Resistance”. The manual describes it as follows
There are two types of power tube bias: fixed bias and cathode bias. In a cathode biased amp a resistor is placed between the power tube cathode and ground thereby self-biasing the tube. This parameter sets the value of the virtual cathode resistor. Higher values result in a more negative bias and push operation towards Class-B, resulting in more crossover distortion.
This parameter is meant to be adjusted on Class-A amps, as listed above in the release note.
As it mentions “existing presets are not changed,” you will not hear these new Defaults on any presets already on the Axe-Fx III when this new firmware is loaded, meaning there should be no change to your presets (Factory or custom). This means to hear the difference of the new defaults, either change Amp types (what is known as a “soft reset”) or create a new Preset from scratch by going to a blank Preset slot or simply deleting and re-adding the Amp block. Again a soft reset of the amp block (choose another amp type then back to the original) will do the same thing.
It seems through research or testing, Fractal has determined “better” default values for these amps and this parameter.
Feel free to try the new defaults, stick to what you had before, or try something completely different. Just know that moving forward, any new Presets created or any Amp soft resets will have these new defaults. So there may be a difference between your old and newer Presets as you create them. This parameter typically causes a subtle change, so you may not hear or feel any difference regardless.
Previous default values were as follows:
- Improved pedal calibration.
No further information was given, but this most likely increases the accuracy of the Pedal Calibration process for the on-board Pedal Jacks of the Axe-Fx III. It’s unknown if this affects the FC Pedal Jacks calibration.
- Changed parameter value display to update if control is attached to modifier.
Before this firmware, if you have a modifier attached to any parameter – like an expression pedal or LFO – the virtual knob itself would turn to show that it’s working, but the numbers/value above would not change, instead staying set to the last saved value to indicate the PC Reset value. All Fractal gear worked this way.
Now, as you use your expression pedal or LFO, the number/value does change in real-time as the modifier works. This is a long standing request for all past Fractal gear, though it isn’t too informative unless you are looking at the Edit page of that block and parameter.
In addition to this, all Knob type parameters now have an additional indicator on the outside of the knob to better show the value of the Knob. So instead of just the “notch” in the middle of the Knob that moves as you change it, an additional “outline” in yellow appears representing the position. Nice visual update that makes it easier to see things.
- Added Triple Crest amp models based on a Mesa Triple Crown TC-100. Note that the actual amp’s “Tight” switch engages a built-in Tube Screamer circuit which can be replicated using a Drive block or the Amp block’s internal Boost feature.
A new amp!
The product description from Mesa Boogie says
Built around 4xEL34s the TC-100 is designed to feature the best sonic characteristics of rock-inspired amps from the 70s up through today.
Channel 1 (Clean) Features: Normal or Drive Modes – Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb (rear panel), Master & Multi-Soak Power Controls
Channel 2 (LO Gain) Features: Normal or Tight Modes – Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb (rear panel), Master & Multi-Soak Power Controls
Channel 3 (HI Gain) Features: Normal or Tight Modes – Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb (rear panel), Master & Multi-Soak Power Controls
The Multi-Soak feature is not needed on the Axe-Fx, as we can adjust the loudness of the amp using the many Level controls available without the need for a physical “power-soak” or “variac” style of volume reduction on a real amp.
Channels 2 and 3 from this amp have been added to the Axe-Fx III with Amp Types called “Triple Crest 2” and “Triple Crest 3”. Be sure to look in the Amp block itself, and not for a new Preset.
- Fixed a couple mistakes in Citrus Terrier amp model.
- Fixed clicking when engaging/bypassing effects which change input impedance.
- Fixed some parameters that should be modifiable (i.e. Chorus Rate, Rotary Rate, etc.) are not displayed as such.
The following notes are a preview of what should be coming to the FC. These were originally introduced in 12.04, but are not yet in 12.06 Public Beta:
- FC: Add FC Views to allow access to all 12 switches from the FC-6.
“Views” were a function added during FM3 development. An FC Layout has a maximum of 12 switch definitions to match with the FC12, the largest FC available. An FC6 however only has 6 physical switches, yet the Layout still holds 12 switch definitions.
Before Views were added, those 6 other switch definitions were basically “wasted” as there was no way to access them with the FC6. Now Views allow you to “shift the view” of the group of switches you’re using from the full Layout. View 1 would be the first 6 switches, and View 2 would be the other 6 switches. Now you can define all 12 switches in each Layout and simply change Views during the gig to access them all. No more wasted switches!
My FM3 Footswitch Designs and Concepts article mentions Views as I progressively describe different ways to use the FC style switches to arrange setups. The FC Footswitch Functions Guide has an excellent explanation of this. Here’s a screenshot of a diagram explaining Views:
Find Views as a new FC Switch Category. Consider putting it on a Switch’s Hold function to change what the 6 Switches are showing without changing Layouts completely.
- FC: Add ‘Current’ display options for the toggle functions.
Previously, for Toggle functions on the FCs – like Scene Toggle, Channel Toggle, etc. – we could only set the switch to tell us the Destination Name. This means the switch’s mini-LCD would always show what you would toggle to. Now we have the option for the switch mini-LCD to tell us what is currently selected.
So if you had a switch set to Toggle between Scene 1 and Scene 2, if you were on Scene 1, with Destination Name set, the Switch would show “Scene 2” as that is where you would go if you press the switch. With the new Current Name option, the Switch will show “Scene 1” if you are on Scene 1.
Some people like the switches to show where it will take you when pressed (the previous default), and others requested for the switch to remind them of where they currently are, and they would remember what would happen if they hit the switch. You’ll have to decide your preferred labeling here.
- FC: Mini-LCD text for Per-Preset Placeholders with no functions assigned to them.
Per-Preset switches are a popular option for keeping the same Layout, but having the switches change functions as you change Presets. Previously, a blank Placeholder would appear as blank on the FC mini-LCDs. Now the Placeholder number is shown on the mini-LCD to help keep track of why that switch is blank when it’s supposed to be a something!
- FC: Exit Tuner when a switch is tapped if that switch has Tuner as a Hold function.
A common way to setup the FC is to have a switch be Tap-Tempo on the Tap function, and Tuner on the Hold function. Lots of gear arranges these 2 functions this way, so it makes sense to many people.
However, with the FCs, if Tuner was on a Hold function, in order to exit from the Tuner, you had to Hold the switch again. Most other gear allowed you to Tap the switch to exit the Tuner. Now the FCs let you exit a Hold function Tuner with a Tap on the same switch.
This small change makes tuning much easier during the gig, as it’s easy to forget to HOLD the switch to exit.